Sunday, June 5, 2016

Last Day of School

The kids had their last of school this past week and we just had to continue with our Last Day of School Photos tradition!!

Aiden wanted to be like his big brother, so he put his hands behind his back like a big boy! Ahh! He's so big!
 I know I say this every year and maybe some day I'll stop saying it, but how is he a second grader already?!?!?
 The sun was super bright, but she was a trooper and took her photo for me! She's getting so tall!
And because it isn't a Last Day of School Photo Post, unless you can see their comparisons! Oh my goodness. Such a big difference. Look at the height growth!
 Look at Connor's height as well. It looks to me like he grew three or four inches.
 Look at Isabella's hair! I know it's hard to tell her height, but if you look at her hand placement on the chalk frame, you can see she definitely grew! Eeek.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Thirty- Three Years

Mr. Howard turned the big 33 on December 15! We had a fun birthday dinner at my parents' house to celebrate! I completely thought I got more photos, but could only find three on my phone! Eeek. I hate when that happens. 

The kids were very excited about their Daddy's birthday...but also about cake!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Santa Visit

We took the kids to see Santa in December and they were so excited!! They each wanted to tell Santa what they wanted, but the sweetest thing was when Connor told Santa that Mama and Daddy both wanted cars. Hahahah! I have no clue where he got that from, but it made my little heart happy that he wanted to share something for someone else! Sweet boy.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Midweek Randoms

Do you ever get so out of practice of doing something that it's hard to get started again? This is what I have done with writing. I've been so exhausted that I come home and get in the bathtub...or I read...or I eat bonbons on the couch (okay I don't really do that...but I'm tempted).

So this is me getting things back on track! Here are all the Midweek Randoms from the rest of the month of November!!

The month of November and December, my husband traveled A LOT. A LOT A LOT! He was gone 26 days! And, while I think I'm pretty good at single-parenting it, it is not something I'd like to do regularly. YUCK!

When he came back in town, we planned a date night! I needed to get away from the kiddos and enjoy a sushi night with my husband! Mmmm.
He is the most adorable boy in the restaurant, after all!
We also took the kids to see the Peanut movie! They loved it and the kids behaved well. 
For Connor's school Thanksgiving Feast, he had to bring in a dish based on his heritage. We don't really have anything we make that is part of our heritage. I'm German and Irish and Scottish...but we don't cook anything that has been passed down from our heritage (I should also mention that my husband is German but he doesn't that was ruled out! Haha). So, we decided to have Connor make my Aunt Karen's famous seven layer cookies. They are a staple in our house for special occasions! Connor wrote about her and he and I had lots of conversations about her - how loving she was, how much she loved him, how she'd make these cookies every Thanksgiving and Christmas, how much Grandfather loved her, how missed she is. He even wanted me to print out the photo of my Aunt holding him when he was a baby to bring in with the dish! While she isn't here with us anymore, I loved that we got to continue on her memory and I promised Connor that he could be our seven layer cookie expert from now on!
When my husband wasn't traveling, we were trying to soak up every single second of time together we could - from snuggles in the car on the way to coffee dates in bed with a six-year-old who wakes up with the rising son.
When hubby was traveling, my mom graciously let us come over for dinner a couple times so that I didn't have to add cooking dinner onto my already too long list of to-do's. Isn't she awesome?!?
We also had something else pretty exciting happen! Aiden got his vaccines. Haha! He was so excited. I'm not even kidding. He told all his friends at school...he told his teacher...he even wanted to tell people random people walking past at Target. I thought it was going to be a disaster, because of how excited he was. But he did so well. He didn't have a single tear. Not one. WHAT?!? How is that possible?
At the very end of the month, thankfully when hubby was back in town, my sweet Isabella came down with the stomach flu! It was heartbreaking and hubby couldn't make it home to get her in time - before I had to go to work. So I had to take her with me to work (and then hubby met me in the parking lot). Isn't that the worst feeling in the world? Poor sweet baby!!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Family Photoshoot!

Over Thanksgiving Break, my sister and her boyfriend of Awe Captures Photography, took family photos and they turned out spectacular. They took them in the Desert, using a tripod. We really had trouble finding a location for a shoot. We tried to find some places near my brother's house to no avail and then thought we might go out to the windmills to get traditional Palm Springs photos, but finally settled on Indian Canyon. I'm glad we did; it was just breathtaking!

My sister-in-law's sister was supposed to be in the family photos, but she got sick and thought she might have strep throat. So she took advantage of the quiet morning and stayed in bed. Her kids made it in our photos though!

The Kirkpatricks

 The Howards
 My adorable little sister and her boyfriend:
 My brother and sister-in-law
 My Parents
  Me and My Beautiful Daughter:
 My Handsome Hubby and Me:
 The Three Amigos. This adorable boy is the closest my kids have to a cousin, since none of my siblings have kids yet.
 The original Kirkpatrick Girls, with our newest one!
 Nana and her little ducklings:
 No Kirkpatrick Photo is complete without a ridiculous one. Our poor children some day are going to be horrified at what's going on behind them. Look at my Dad. His caption is: "Yeah. Nope."
 All the Kirkpatrick Kids with our significant others:
 This precious angel has Daddy wrapped around his finger
 Daddy and his three crazy little monsters:
 Me and my little ducklings:
 Isabella's dress was so breathtaking, we just wanted a million photos of her with that beautiful background!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015


Thanksgiving morning, Connor, Isabella, and I went to Starbucks. It was perfect timing because we were able to see the Turkey trot down Palm Canyon while we sipped our coffee and hot chocolate. I asked Connor to snap this photo of Mr. Howard and me because this is the exact spot of our first date 15 Novembers ago. I asked him to make sure he got the Starbucks Coffee in the background of the photo and he did such a great job! It's so fun to think about how different our life is from that first date!

The kids had fun watching the turkey trot, but couldn't understand why I wasn't running it. Haha! You know because if your mom is a runner, she must run everything!
Afterwards we headed to my brother and his wife's house, where my darling "I don't want another baby" husband loved on and hogged Becca's sweet niece. Colin and Becca cooked the most delicious food! Everyone thought it was hilarious that my brother and I were straining the wine through a cheese grater (the cork broke into little pieces in the wine bottle and we didn't have anything else to use!
 My sister, who is a photographer, snapped this photo of my brother and sister-in-law's Thanksgiving table. Isn't it breathtaking?
We were all so busy enjoying the delicious food and great company, that we all kinda forgot to get photos of the people. My sister snapped this one of Isabella and Nova. For those of you who remember, Miss Nova is the one who took a bullet to her face when intruders broke into their house while they were home. Doesn't Nova look good? What a miracle dog!
Even though I didn't get photos of everyone on Thanksgiving, I did, however, snap this video of the games we were playing that evening! We played boys v. girls and the boys were pretty hardcore! Haha!

Monday, November 30, 2015

The man sweetly told me I was "Brave." Brave isn't always the word I'd use to describe myself.

For Thanksgiving this year my entire Kirkpatrick family decided to spend the holiday at my little brother's house! Since I had the whole week off and since hubby had a training in Southern California the week before Thanksgiving, I decided to go down the Saturday before the holiday. I drove by myself with three littles! I was particularly proud of myself because we left at 5am. You can see in the picture of my map that it was pitch black out! You can also see that at 5:13am, we still had 8 hours remaining (which really is 9 hours when you stop for lunch and bathroom breaks along the way).

When I arrived in the warm 85 degree Palm Springs, I met my husband (whom I had spent two weeks apart from - due to his traveling!), father-in-law, brother, and sister-in-law and they immediately offered to take the kids to the pool, so that I could shower and have some alone time! It was my first break in weeks. The kids were so excited to see everyone!!
While the boys were at the pool, Mr. Howard called and said I should go get a manicure and pedicure with my sister-in-law. You do NOT have to ask me twice!! It took a lot longer than we thought it was going to take, but I was thrilled. I would have been happy to stay there for an entire day! Haha. 

Mr. Howard's dad is in Palm Springs doing work, so we were able to spend time with him! We all met for a yummy breakfast at an old favorite Keedys. Connor is obsessed with his Uncle Colin!
I went to Palm Springs to visit my brother and sister-in-law last June, but Mr. Howard had to work. So he hadn't been back to our home city in several years! A few years ago, they rebuilt his high school right next to the old buildings, then knocked down the old buildings and built sport's fields. We hadn't been by to see the new school - so we had to check it out! The kids were very impressed (ha!) with their Daddy's Alma Mater. All the buildings are really beautiful, but it's bazaar because we don't recognize anything! 
After spending a day together, hubby had to fly back home to work. So Aiden and I headed to the airport to take him home! That night Aiden slept in the bed with me and Connor and Isabella slept together on my floor. I seriously could have photographed them every single day, because it was just too funny looking at their positions. P.S. sleeping children make my heart go pitter patter. 
On Monday, I took the kids to the Living Desert. It was fun for me, but the kids were not impressed. They were warm and tired and their "legs hurt" and they "didn't want to walk anymore" and they wanted to know when they could go home. Ha! Not one of my best ideas ever. But I enjoyed it! Plus, because we are members of our zoo in Sacramento, we got half off admission to the Living Desert! (P.S. ALWAYS ask zoos if they give discounts for members of another zoo!).
Despite the kids' lack of enthusiasm for the Living Desert, they were pretty impressed with that cactus above! In fact, they were pretty excited about ALL the cacti! Connor snapped this photo below of me, Aiden, and Isabella. 
There's a part in the Living Desert where you can go out into the desert and just walk around.  I snapped this gorgeous photo of Isabella. It's one of my favorites! I never appreciated the mountains growing up. To me, they were normal; I had never lived anywhere else. And then I moved away and I realized that not everyone has this in their backyard! I so appreciate the beauty of the mountains now!
The next day I had a much more intelligent idea to take them to the Children's Discovery Museum of the Desert. We got there when it opened, stayed until lunch, and then came back in the afternoon for another three hours! We could have easily gone back again too. It was the best money I spent the whole time! I can't even type out all the exhibits they had, but my kids' favorites were the flying scarves (you could put colored scarves in their air machine and they'd fly up in the air), the pizza making restaurant, the science exhibit where they could do some electricity experiments, and the archaeology dig! Seriously. If you haven't gone to this museum, go!
On Tuesday, my sister-in-law's sister arrived from Texas, so the kids and I went to stay in the Hard Rock Hotel in Palm Springs. The valet at the hotel saw me checking in alone and sweetly told me I was brave. He emphasized the brave part when he saw me carrying one twin on my hip, a bag on my other arm, a suitcase behind me, and two other kids trailing behind. Brave isn't always the word I'd use to describe myself. Hahah! I've never stayed in a hotel by myself with the kids, so it was definitely an adventure! But all-in-all it was pretty good. Checking in was kind of funny because I was only supposed to have two kids with me AND the reservation was under my husband's name. Thankfully the man checking me in agreed to check me in anyway (it may have had something to do with the fact that I had little people at my feet and it was 8pm!). Thank goodness! 
The next day, the kids and I went out to breakfast at the IHOP I used to go to as a kid (the one literally four minutes from my old house)! Then we met Becca's sister and kids at the house, while I let all the kids help me bake my Aunt's famous seven layer cookies! Aiden, Isabella, Connor, and Jake (my brother's nephew) all had a different job! I couldn't have made those cookies without them. ;-)
In between cookie baking, I basically hogged this sweet almost-one-year-old. Oh goodness gracious I had missed having a baby in my arms! I pretty much held her every second I could!
 And then, finally, it was time to pick up my husband from the airport again!! Hooray!!
I'll do a separate post on Thanksgiving day, but the day after we went to do family photos! My kids, and specifically Aiden in this photo below, clearly do not understand how cacti work. But someone pointed out to me, oh-so-correctly, that at least it attached to his shoe and not his leg! Yes!
After our family photos, my entire Kirkpatrick family went to my high school, where they were having an Alumni luncheon and Alumni Basketball game! Here we all were:
For a man who keeps telling me he's not ready for another baby, my husband sure did snuggle and love on her every single second he could. I'm telling you, it was kind of annoying how much we hogged her. 
My sister had a different one of the kids spend the night with her every single night, so that we only had two kids in the hotel. It was so very sweet of her and helped us out so much! Plus they were all excited to get some time with Aunt Katie and Andy alone.
The last day we were in Palm Springs we walked to Peabody's Cafe on Palm Canyon. Our house, growing up, was 2.5 minutes from Palm Canyon - so it's where I spent countless hours. We'd go to the starbucks on the hair dresser was there...the bookstore we'd frequent was on that road...our family dinner's out were spent there. It's surreal to be a tourist in the town  you were born and raised in, but oh-so-much-fun too!
I have a million and one memories in Palm Springs. It's where I was born...and said my first's where I became a sister and where my parents nurtured and supported's where I had my first first valentine...and where I fell in love with my's where I played sports and found a passion for was the home I ran to after my first year of college. It's even the place I went to visit right after Cole passed away. It doesn't matter how long I've been away or how infrequently I get to visit- I still consider it my home.
And just like that, it was time to go back to Northern California. The drive that should have taken us 9 hours took us almost 11 (because of Thanksgiving traffic) and about 6 of those hours were spent refereeing our fighting children in the back. Hubby and I snapped this when we still had five hours left. If we could have jumped ship, we would have!

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